Photo: Inside looking out.

Chom Ong Cave

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Up for a little Udomxai adventure? Chom Ong Cave is located 44 km west of Udomxai, about half of that journey off-road. The remote cave is rarely visited, and that alone may make it worthwhile for some travellers.

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Chom Ong is a cave system along a four kilometre mountain ridge. The Udomxai tourism department states that 17 km of it has been explored by the Lao-European Cave Project (2009, 2010 and 2011), and it is the longest cave in northern Laos. The cave is summarised as follows:

“The typical passage dimension is 20-25 m width and 20-30 metres-height. There are two overlaying passages, a river and a fossil passage, which are linked at one huge hall with 100 metres-length, 30 metres-width and ceiling heights of 30-50 metres.”

The road is long and winding. Photo taken in or around Chom Ong Cave, Udomxai, Laos by Cindy Fan.

The road is long and winding. Photo: Cindy Fan

The easiest way to get to Chom Ong is to arrange private transport or a tour through the Tourism Office. However, for experienced motorbike riders, reaching the cave can be done independently.

Pack water, snacks, flashlight and wear decent shoes. Set out by 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning in order to be able return to Udomxai by nightfall. Head northwest on Route 13 (the road to Luang Nam Tha) for 24 km until the village of Ban Nambotakay (easy to know it is coming up as it is after Ban Lak 22/“Village km 22”). Look for the turnoff on the lefthand side, there should be a sign. Ensure you have enough petrol for the over 40 km roundtrip journey to the cave.

Your cave starts here. Photo taken in or around Chom Ong Cave, Udomxai, Laos by Cindy Fan.

Your cave starts here. Photo: Cindy Fan

The next 18 km is challenging. The unpaved road undulates with some seriously steep sections and rough terrain, the kind that makes bones and teeth chatter. Locals make it look easy but we don’t recommend novices try this. We also don’t recommend using an automatic motorbike as they are designed for city driving and tend not to be reliable when worked this hard. This road is very difficult during rainy season.

A sore backside is the punishment but the reward is a scenic journey through pretty countryside, some high spots delivering a view to the rolling mountains. You’ll also pass through two rural ... Travelfish members only (Around 800 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Chom Ong Cave
44km west of Udomxai

Location map for Chom Ong Cave

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